Who doesn’t love an orange? Mmm I sure do! Did you know that besides eating them, there are many other things you can do with an orange, particularly the peels? Most people just toss the peels out when they’re finished without even thinking about what else they can do with them. I’ve seen many more things that you can do, but today I’m sharing my list of 14 Everyday Uses for Orange Peels, because this is what I do with them too!
1. Clean the stove. The oils left behind orange peels act as a natural degreaser, and the peel itself can work sort of like a sponge. After cooking, simply wipe up small messes with the peel to clean it up.
2. Create your own DIY household cleanser. Don’t stop with the stove! Place some orange peels into a jar and add enough white vinegar to cover the peels. Close the jar with its lid and keep it somewhere safe so it doesn’t break. It will take a few weeks, with you shaking up the contents every other day, but when it’s ready you will have a safe cleaner that will smell good too!
3. Deodorize the garbage disposal. If your disposal is starting to smell bad, put a few orange peels through it. The smells will be alleviated, leaving behind a fresh citrus scent.
4. Use them to start a fire. Dried orange peels work well as kindling for the fire. No need to find a newspaper or other device when peels will do the job.
5. Include it in your favorite dishes. Orange peels can be made into a zest, that you can easily add to many recipes when additional flavor is desired. It really adds a sweet but tangy zing!
6. Eliminate water stains on stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel is notorious for water stains. It’s hard to wipe them down without streaks left behind! Once you’ve cleaned the area, go back over it with orange peels to remove those unsightly marks.
7. Make the trash smell good. Tossing some orange peels into the bottom of your garbage can before placing the liner inside will give the area a nice citrus smell instead of that of nasty trash!
8. Keep brown sugar ready to use. Orange peels will help prevent clumping of brown sugar. It does this by pulling out any moisture that would make the brown sugar solidify over time. This is a great tip if you don’t use your brown sugar very often.
9. Make your own orange candle! I found this really fun way to use an orange peel, that I haven’t tried yet but really want to so, I thought you’d love seeing it too! This is as homemade as candles come, but you have to plan this before you eat your orange because you will want half of the fruit’s peel to stay intact. They say that all you need is a knife and an oil (vegetable, canola, or olive will work) and you can create your own candle in minutes.
10. Prevent mosquito and other bug bites. The citrus smell from the fruit is enough to keep unwanted pests at bay. Rub your body down with fresh orange peels before going outside to reduce the chances of being bitten – this is safer than repellents sold in stores and smells better too!
11. Do you have a favorite DIY body scrub recipe? You can create an orange zest to add to your favorite scrub recipe, or simply rub the peels wrapped in gauze over your skin while in the bath or shower. The orange peels can help brighten your skin!
12. Give your tea a citrus twist. If you want a refreshing new taste to your usual tea, add a few small pieces of dried orange peels to your cup while brewing or just after. You want the tea still piping hot to really get the taste of the orange into your drink. I also add some orange peel zest to my famous hot spiced cider that I make during the Winter Holidays. YUMMY!
13. Make a small bird feeder. Similar to the idea of the candle, half of an orange’s peel can be used as a bowl-like feeder for birds. Cut a couple of small holes into the bottom of the orange “bowl” and attach it with string to a tree branch. Fill the peel with seeds an watch the birds eat.
14. Use as a natural ant repellent. If you have problems with ants around your home, find the sources and sprinkle them with ground up orange peels. Alternative, you can extract the oils from the peels and drip it along your home’s walls and into ant hills. Speaking of ant repellent, have you tried cinnamon? It works great on ants as well!
BONUS: My favorite use of orange peel is to make orange zest and use it in my cooking. Remember my famous Banana Poppyseed Muffins with Orange Juice Glaze? My secret to that perfect flavor is the orange zest!
So tell me… What is your favorite way to use an orange?